The Institute sponsors lectures and symposia on current topics related to international law. Lecturers have included justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, representatives from USAID, the World Bank and various federal agencies, and practicing lawyers from distinguished law firms, who have shared their perspectives on issues including economic development, terrorism and international trade.

Students also have the opportunity to conduct research with Catholic Law faculty members engaged in projects all over the world and with faculty members from non-U.S. academic institutions. This unique outreach provides students with research opportunities within and outside of the United States with experts in many areas of the law. Projects have included the development of human rights laws and policies in transitional countries and clinical legal education in Central and Eastern Europe.


In 1992, the Law School launched the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Krakow, Poland, in cooperation with the prestigious Jagiellonian University. At the time, Poland was a country in transition, making it an ideal site for the study of comparative law, international constitutional law, and business and trade. Today, Poland has emerged as one of the most dynamic economies in the European Union, attracting investment from Germany, China, the United States and many other countries. Foreign
investment has driven down labor costs, raised productivity, and contributed to the
transformation of Poland into a successful market economy.

The International Business and Trade Summer Law Program has providing students with the unique opportunity to receive intensive training in the global aspects of modern business and trade, and in comparative perspectives of regulated industries and antitrust laws in the U.S. and the EU. While students earn three to six credits, they study and live with English-speaking Polish students, making the program a true cultural exchange. The rigorous curriculum is enhanced with cultural activities and historical excursions. For students interested in acquiring practical experience in either an American or Polish law firm or legal institution, externship placements may be arranged through the director of the program.


Students participating in the International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, Italy, earn four credits over a concentrated three-week program of study. Students will study and live in Rome, the Eternal City, which is home to the Holy See, a major international advocate for human rights and provider of humanitarian relief throughout the world. Rome is also the headquarters of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization as well as other legal and humanitarian institutions of interest to those studying human rights. In addition, Rome’s historical, cultural, religious, and legal significance make it a perfect setting for a concentrated study of human rights law.

During the three week session, students will be able to select two 2-credit courses from a group of courses which focuses on different aspects of human rights law. The course selections include existing offerings in Catholic University’s curriculum, as well as courses designed specifically for this program. Formal study will be supplemented with planned visits to local legal institutions and organizations, as well as the opportunity to explore the city of Rome and enjoy some of Italy’s religious, cultural, and historic treasures. At the completion of the program, students will still have over two months free for summer employment before classes commence for the fall semester. Alternatively, students may continue their legal studies by applying to participate in our International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Cracow. Click here to learn more.


The student-run International Law Students Association provides an important complement to the Institute. Although the Institute does not administer ILSA, the group provides students with opportunities to become acquainted with Institute programs and the broad scope of international law through lectures and conferences, including panels on career opportunities in international law. The society also has a critical role in the management of the Jessup Cup International Moot Court Competition.


Important to a law student's preparation for practice in the filed of international and comparative law is substantive knowledge on issues of global significance. The Institute hosts a series of lectures for its students, alumni and faculty featuring noteworthy speakers from our alumni, who are eager to give back to their alma mater, as well as, speakers holding prominent positions in government, NGOs, associations, private and public industry.

For lectures, please visit News and Events.